Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Helping The Poor

During my commute home I passed by a boy of about 10 years old sitting along the curb with small cooler and a sign I could quite make out. I usually stop for children when they're selling lemonade and what not because it makes their day. I asked him, "What are you selling?"

"I'm raising money for the poor. I'm selling water for a dollar a bottle."

That sounded like a worthy cause to support. I asked him what his plans were.

"I'm going to find a poor person and give them all the money I raise."

From the look of the cooler, I was his first customer. I bought three bottles of water and told him I'm only taking one and I'd like for him to give two away to anyone he wants to.

I'm sure he's going to he brighten someone's life for a moment. And more beyond that.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sunday, April 2, 2017

30 Days of Biking - Day 2

Today's ride was all in the city.

How I feel when I ride my bike.

The Spokane Falls are rip roaring.

An ostentatious street sign.

The Ben Burr Trail.

Pedestrian bridge crossing over the interstate.

A grain elevator long past its heyday.

This speaks for itself.

A couple more shots with the Spokane River at flood stage.

This looks like a fun house.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

30 Days of Biking - Day 1

I rode some trails at Riverside State Park and then headed south across Palisades Park. Then took pavement the rest of the way home.

The infamous goes-everywhere-in-RSP Trail 25.

At one point Trail 25 became Creek 25.

Mystic Falls at Indian Canyon.

Looks like I'll need a shower.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Republican Plan To Fix The Affordable Care Act

Cathy McMorris Rodgers proudly announced the release of their proposed legislation on Facebook.

"You can read the full text at GOP.gov/ReadTheBill," she said.

If you've ever looked at legislation that amends other legislation, figuring out what it all means can be a daunting task. Many comments on McMorris Rodgers's post expressed that frustration and people were asking what this meant. Needless to say, she did not provide specifics.

I took a look at one part that references Medicaid.

I used the Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute site as my reference for the law and checked out what 42 USC 1396a, Subsection (a)(47)(B) had to say. 

There are links within the subsection to follow and read but after a half hour or so I finally figured out that the Medicaid expansion that was implemented by the Affordable Care Act was being terminated as of Jan 1, 2020.

So basically, this section could have been titled, This Is Where We Screw The Poor.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A Clean Elephant

I've been commuting on my Elephant NFE all winter. Actually since August. I find it funny and surprising that the Schwalbe Thunder Burt tires did so well on the snow and ice. I kept them at around 25psi. I still had some "Whoa!" moments but I never went down. Yesterday I gave it a good scrubbing and got all the winter grime off. I'm going to give it a break and ride my commuter to work for a while.  Next up for the NFE is a thorough exam and tune up. I have the Oregon Outback ride coming up at the end of April with my brother John and son Geoff.

Because History Has Shown That Banning Books Works So Well

An Arkansas legislator has submitted a bill to ban books and works written by Howard Zinn from the public schools. The Zinn Education Project has responded.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Yesterday's Morning Commute

I rode alongside the Spokane River. Both it and Latah Creek and running fast and high. Me? Not so much.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Gotta Get Ready

I have a ride on the Oregon Outback route coming up in two months and I've had enough of the snow and ice keeping me from getting some good rides in. Today I made sure my commutes were over ten miles each and included some climbing.

My ride home after work.

The beginning of the descent down Houston Road.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Asking Questions With Loaded Answers

State Representative Matt Shea, District 4-R, is asking anyone on his mailing list to take his online survey.  I don't think he would care if anyone pointed out to him that his answers could influence how people answered. But I find this sort of thing interesting. 

Here's one example:

Hmm, I'm 100% sure that prosecutors do not determine sentences. Regardless, I came up with another set of answers to this question that may or may not serve his survey well.

Yes - I believe in the sanctity of live.
No - The people should be able to have a choice in meting out punishment.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Yakima Visit

Work took me to Yakima this last week. I decided to take my camera with me. It's a creative outlet that I've been lacking at this past year or so. I was finishing my lunch at Essencia, a cozy sandwich and chocolaterie place, when a crowd of people carrying signs marched by. Darned if it wasn't some of Congressman Dan Newhouse's constituents doing what many have been doing across the country. They were civil and adamant. I gave them bonus points for no misspelled words for not dragging the American flag on the ground.

Downtown Yakima is trying to revitalize itself. Or Dowtown.

A monument erected for Colonel Cock.
(Yes, you can still find juvenile humor here.)

Across the street from Colonel Cock's monument there's a 115-year-old marker commemorating the men who lost their lives in a war that seems so meaningless now. The monument is weathered and decayed.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Occasional Hike-A-Bike

I've been really trying to stick with bike commuting but the weather has really made it very challenging for me.  I now live near Downriver golf course, which is a quiet neighborhood just under four miles from work. There are no, what I would call, direct routes to my house. You have to zig zag a bit. Since the roads don't get a lot of through traffic, they don't clear up as quickly as other more trafficked roads. And with the short thaws followed by days of freezing weather, the ice/snow mix on our residential roads is polished to a very slick surface. Add in the unevenness from the ruts created by vehicles and you have tons of opportunities to take a spill.

At the risk of jinxing myself, I have yet to fall down. You'd think I'd be running studded tires but I'm not. I'm riding on Thunder Burts, which don't have a lot of tread and essentially no deep tread. I have them inflated to around 25 psi. I focus on keeping my center of balance centered, if that makes sense, and select a slightly higher gear than normal. Anyway, it's been working out great for me, except for when conditions are really atrocious. Then I take the bus.

Yesterday I had some extremely rough ice conditions. I had to walk the bike a couple of blocks to get to some ride able roadway. I'm okay with that. Riding a bike is so much more pleasurable than driving or riding the bus.